Chinese, Russian presidents hold phone conversation
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Friday held a phone conversation.
During the phone conversation, Xi thanked Putin again for coming to China to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, and congratulated the Russian athletes on finishing second in the Winter Olympics medal table.
Putin extended warm congratulations to all the Chinese people for the complete success of the Beijing Winter Olympics and for the outstanding performance of the Chinese delegation.
The two sides mainly exchanged views on the current Ukrainian situation.
Putin introduced the historical context of the Ukraine issue as well as Russia's special military operation in eastern Ukraine and its position.
He said that the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have long ignored Russia's legitimate security concerns, repeatedly broken their commitments and continuously pushed their military deployment eastwards, which challenged Russia's strategic bottom line.
Russia is ready to hold high-level negotiation with Ukraine, said Putin.
Xi pointed out that recent dramatic changes in the situation in eastern Ukraine have drawn great attention from the international community, adding that China decides on its position based on the merits of the Ukrainian issue itself.
He called on dropping the Cold War mentality, attaching importance and respecting the legitimate security concerns of various countries and forming a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiation.
The Chinese side supports the Russian side in solving the issue through negotiation with the Ukrainian side, Xi said, adding that China has been consistent in its basic position on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
China is ready to work with members of the international community to embrace the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and firmly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international law, Xi said.